The Hidden Anti-Hero: Petroleum and its many forms

  • Mineral oil and petroleum ( The Hidden Anti-Hero ) are the basic ingredients in many cosmetic products today. Both mineral oil and petroleum have the same origins in fossils fuels. Cosmetics such as foundations, cleansers, and moisturizers often contain mineral oil. By locking moisture against the skin, mineral oil sits on the skin’s surface and can potentially block pores. This may result in the appearance of pimples because the skin cannot properly ‘breathe’.

Top 3 reasons why you should avoid it –

1. Petroleum derivatives cannot be metabolized –

There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person.

2. Petroleum and mineral oil are “occlusive” agents

meaning they seal off the skin from air, water or anything else getting in (or out). Wherever they’re applied, they form an invisible film on the surface that blocks the pores and the skin’s natural respiration process.

3. It doesn’t nourish your skin –

These agents don’t allow moisture to be absorbed from the atmosphere, like other emollients can, nor will they allow absorption of the other beneficial ingredients.

There’s just nothing in petroleum or mineral oil that’s going to nourish your skin from the inside out. They’re cheap filler materials and that’s why they’re so ubiquitous in beauty products. Why settle for them when you could use something way better?

Some of the ways they might appear on ingredients labels include:

  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Propylene glycol
  • Liquid paraffin
  • Paraffin oil

What are the alternatives?

Instead of petroleum or mineral oil, we recommend coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, shea butter or cocoa butter.

Article credit – Based on an article by Michelle Villett – ‘5 SCARY REASONS TO AVOID PETROLEUM AND MINERAL OIL IN YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS’.